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Methods in Cooking

Dry heat Cookery Methods In dry heat cooking methods, the food being cooked does not use water to cook the food. The food is left dry and heat is applied to cook the food. Such methods of cooking are: baking, steaming, grilling, and roasting. When heat is applied to the food, the food cooks in its own juice or the water added to the food during its preparation evaporates during the heating process and this cooks the food. Heat is applied directly to the food by way of convection thus making the food to get cooked. The action or movement of air around the food, cooks it. Let us now have a look at each of these cooking methods Baking In baking method of cooking, the food is cooked using convection heating. The food is put into an enclosed area where heat is then applied and the movement of heat within the confined space, acts on the food that make it get cooked. Steaming To steam food, water is added to a pot and then a stand is placed inside the pot. The water level should be under the stand and not above it. There is no contact between the food and the water that is added to the pot. Food is then placed on the stand and heat is applied. The hot steam rising from the boiling water acts on the food and the food gets cooked. It is the hot steam that cooks the food, as there is no contact between the food and the water inside the pot. This method of cooking for vegetables is very good as the food does not lose its flavour and much of the nutrients are not lost during the cooking. Grilling There are two methods of grilling that are used these days. One type of grilling is the one that is commonly used by the people in the village. This is when food is cooked over hot charcoal on an open fire. The food is placed on top of the burning charcoal. Sometimes people improvise by using wire mesh and place it over the open fire to grill fish or vegetables. The other method is using grills that are inbuilt in stoves. In this method, the griller, which has a tray, is heated up and the food is placed on the grill tray to cook. The heat can be gas-generated or electric-generated depending on the type of stove used. The food is again left to cook on the grill with the doors of the grill open. People who can afford to buy a stove would use the grilling part to grill their food. What happens in this type of cooking is the heat seals the outside part of the food and the juice inside the food cooks it. The flavour of the food is not lost and much of the nutrients are not lost either. Food is frequently turned over to prevent it from burning and to ensure that equal heating and cooking time is applied to both sides of the food. By doing this, the food is cooked evenly and thoroughly. Roasting With roasting, direct heat is applied to the food. The heat seals the outside part of the food and the juice inside the food cooks the food. Roasting is mainly used when cooking fleshy food like fish, meat or chicken. When heat is applied to the outer covering of the food, it seals it up thereby trapping all the juices inside the food. The action of direct heating, heats up the juices inside the food, which then cooks the food. Again there is very little nutrient lost and the flavour is not spoilt. Food is frequently rotated over the spit so that there is even heating applied to all parts of the food. This is so that heat is applied evenly to the food to make it get cooked properly. Moist Heat Cookery Methods In moist heat cookery methods, liquid is used as a medium to cook the food. Such medium could be water, coconut cream or oil. These liquids are added to the food before heat is applied to it or sometimes heat is applied to the liquid before the food is added into the cooking utensils to be cooked. The moist heat cookery methods include: boiling, stewing, shallow frying, deep frying, barbequing and basting. All these moist heat cooking methods use liquid to cook the food in. Boiling This is the most common method of cooking and is also the simplest. With this method of cooking, enough water is added to food and it is then cooked over the fire. The action of the heated water makes the food to get cooked. The liquid is usually thrown away after the food is cooked. In the case of cooking rice, all the water is absorbed by the rice grains to make it get cooked. During the heating process, the nutrients can get lost or destroyed and the flavour can be reduced with this method of cooking. If you over cooked cabbage, all the nutrients can get lost. Stewing In the process of cooking using the stewing method, food is cooked using a lot of liquid. Different kinds of vegetables are chopped, diced or cubed and added to the pot. Sometimes pieces of selected meat, fish or chicken is also chopped and

added to the stew. The liquid is slightly thickened and stewed food is served in that manner. This method is also used when preparing fruits that are going to be served as desserts. With this cooking method, every food is cooked together at the same time in one pot. The flavour, colours, shapes and textures of the different vegetables that are used, makes stewing a handy method of cooking. The only disadvantage is that some of the vegetables might be overcooked and thus the nutrient content becomes much less. It is therefore important that the vegetables that take the longest to cook to be put into the pot first and the ones that need least cooking to be put in last. In this way much of the nutrient contents of the food does not get lost. Frying When food is fried using oil or solid fat it is important that you observe some rules in handling oil or fat. Simple rules to follow when frying: 1.Make sure there is enough oil or fat put in the frying pan or a deep frying pan. 2.The food to be cooked must not have water dripping from it. This is because when water comes into contact with hot oil or fat, you will have the oil sizzling and spitting out of the pan, which could burn your skin if you are not careful. 3.Put the food into the hot oil carefully. Try not to make a big splash as the oil could burn your skin. 4.The oil of fat should be heated to the right temperature before putting food into the pan to be fried. If the food is put in when the oil or fat is not heated to the right temperature, the food will soak up the oil and you will have food that is all oily or greasy. If the oil or fat is over heated, you will end up with food that is burnt. Sometimes the food especially dough nuts will turn brown on the inside but the dough inside is uncooked. To cook food using the frying method, there are two ways of doing it. There is the shallow frying and the deep frying methods. Shallow Frying In shallow frying, food is cooked in a frying pan with a little amount of oil or fat. The oil or fat is heated to the correct amount and the food is put into the heated oil. The food is turned over a few minutes or is stirred around a couple of times before it is cooked and dished out. If patties, potato chips or coated foods are fried, it is best to put a piece of brown paper or paper napkin inside the tray to soak up any oil from the food before serving it. Deep Frying This is when a lot of oil or fat is used in cooking the food. The oil or fat is usually put into a deep pan and is heated to boiling point. Food is then put into the hot boiling oil and is cooked in that way. Such food as fish fingers, potato chips, meat balls, and dough nuts to name a few, are cooked using the deep frying method. Barbequing The method of cooking food by barbequing is usually associated with fund raising activities, parties or picnics. It is most suitable to cooking meat cutlets, fish or chicken pieces. The food is usually marinated with spices and tenderizers (for meat cuts) for sometime before it is cooked. With this method of cooking, a sheet of metal with stands is heated up and oil is used to cook the food. A sufficient amount of oil is heated up and food is added. The food is then turned over a couple of times before it is dished out. Basting This method of cooking is usually associated with roasting. The juice or liquid that comes out of the meat being cooked is spooned over the roast frequently while it is being roasted. The outer part of the meat is moistened frequently during the cooking process with the juice that is being spooned over. Usually, the extra juice from the cooked meat is added to a mixture to make the meat sauce. Different Kind of Cuts and Slice A knife cut is how a chef or cook slices food into a specific shape. The different types of basic knife cuts are batonnet, dice, allumette, mince, julienne, and brunoise. Different cuts are required depending upon the dish being prepared because foods cook at different speeds and the size or shape of the food affects how long a dish must cook to be prepared correctly. Batonnet is a culinary term used to describe one of the basic knife cuts used in preparing vegetables. A batonnet cut is a long cube that should measure approximately one-half inch (1.27 cm) square and two to three inches (5 to 7.6 cm) long. A cook will use the batonnet cut on potatoes when cooking french fries or for celery and carrots when preparing a raw vegetable tray. When dicing food, the chef will start with the batonnet cut then slice the three inch (7.6 cm) long batonnet into smaller cubes which are called a dice. Cheese for appetizers or bread for fondue is often cut into a dice. Basic knife cuts such as the allumette cut are also in vegetable preparation. Known as the matchstick cut due to its resemblance to a matchstick, the allummette cut is approximately the same length as the batonnet cut but much thinner. The allummette cut vegetable will measure only about one-quarter inch (.6 cm) square by two and one-half inches (6.35 cm) long.

When chopping food, the chef will start with the allummette cut then slice the two and one-half inch (6.35 cm) long allummette into tiny cubes called a fine chop. Nuts are often cut into a fine chop for desserts. One of the most familiar basic knife cuts is the julienne cut. It is thinner than the allummette or batonnet and is used to shred food. The food, such as a carrot, is cut into a two and one-half inch (6.35 cm) long strip then sliced to approximately one-eighth inch (.3 cm) square. The julienne cut is used to make hash browns and shredded cheese. This cut may also be used to dress up salads or cocktails with candied lemon peels. The smallest basic knife cuts are known as brunoise cuts. A brunoise is the same thickness as a julienne cut at oneeighth inch (.3 cm) square. However, instead of leaving in two and one-half inch (6.35 cm) long strips, the brunoise cut slices the food into one-eighth inch (.3 cm) squares. When mincing food, the chef will start with the brunoise cut and continue to cut into the food is finely minced. Onions and garlic are often cut into a mince because the flavor would be too intense if left in larger pieces. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Julienne, Batonnet, Baton, Allumette They're all stick-shaped. Think small, big, bigger, biggest. Julienne is short and slender, as in celery sticks on a vegetable platter, the other three are increasingly longer and thicker, as in French fries. Rondelle Use for carrot coins, zucchini or any vegetable with a rounded or long shape. Cut at 90 degrees. Diagonal Use for any longish vegetable you want to stir-fry, such as celery, green onion or carrot. Cut at a comfortable 45degree angle. A mandoline makes this fast and easy. Brunoise Dice into smallest possible cubes, 1 to 2 millimetres wide. Use for root vegetables or firm fruits. Lozenge Purely ornamental, these are diamond shapes cut from a firm vegetable that's already been thin-sliced. Pretty in clear soups. Sweet potatoes and turnips are good candidates. Mince Exactly what it says -- chop as finely as possible. Eggs for egg salad are minced. Shred It may look like a chiffonade, but it's used on heavier leaves (as in shredded cabbage) or roots such as carrots or ginger. A mandoline is wonderful for shredding. Chiffonade Use for spinach, chard or romaine. De-stem leaves and stack 8 or 10 of them. Roll tightly like a cigar and slice into fine shreds. Good technique for creating a bed of greens or a garnish.

Soup, Stock & Slice

Stocks contain four essential parts: a major flavoring ingredient, liquid, aromatics, and mirepoix: The major flavoring ingredient consists of bones and trimmings for meat and fish stocks and vegetables for vegetable stock. The liquid most often used in making stock is water. Aromatics are herbs, spices, and flavorings that create a savory smell; these include sachet d'pices or bouquet garni. Mirepoix is a mixture of coarsely chopped onions, carrots, and celery that is used to flavor stocks, soups, and stews.

There are many types of stock: White stock: A clear, pale liquid made by simmering poultry, beef, or fish bones. Brown stock: An amber liquid made by first browning/roasting poultry, beef, veal, or game bones. Fumet: A highly flavored stock made with fish bones. Court bouillon: An aromatic vegetable broth. Glace: A reduced stock with a jelly-like consistency, made from brown stock, chicken stock, or fish stock. Remouillage: A weak stock made from bones that have already been used in another preparation. It is sometimes used to replace water as the liquid used in a stock. Bouillon: The liquid that results from simmering meats or vegetables; also referred to as broth. When using bones for stock, they must be cut to the right size and prepared by blanching, browning, or sweating. Degreasing is the process of removing fat that has cooled and hardened from the surface of the stock by lifting or scraping it away before the stock is reheated. Degreasing stock gives it a clearer look and removes some of the fat content. To cool stock, follow good food safety practices and limit the time the stock spends in the temperature danger zone (TDZ). To cool stock, place it in a clean stockpot, and then put that pot into an ice-water bath. Stir it often. When cooled, place the pot into the cooler. Another option is to break down the stock into smaller portions and place the smaller containers in the cooler. Stir occasionally so that the contents of each container cool at the same rate. Be careful not to put an entire large stockpot of hot stock in the cooler because it will warm the cooler and its contents. Stir occasionally so that the contents of each container cool at the same rate. Be careful not to put an entire large stockpot of hot stock in the cooler because it will warm the cooler and its contents. There are five classical grand sauces that are the basis for most other sauces. They are bchamel, velout, brown or espagnole sauce, tomato sauce, and hollandaise: Bchamel, the base for cream, cheddar cheese, soubise Veal velout, the base for Allemande, Hungarian, curry Chicken velout, the base for mushroom, supreme, Hungarian Fish velout, the base for white wine, bercy, herb Brown or espagnole, the base for bordelaise, chasseur, lyonnaise, Madeira Tomato, the base for Creole, Portuguese Hollandaise, the base for barnaise, Maltaise Thickeners, such as roux, beurre mani, slurry, and liaison, add richness and body to sauces. There are other sauces that are not classified as grand sauces or as derivatives of grand sauces. These include compound butters, salsa, and coulis. In addition, some sauces are made with the natural juices from meat, such as jus-li or au jus. You should match sauces to the type of food you are serving. Consider factors such as the main ingredient of the dish and how the flavors will complement each other. There are two basic kinds of soupclear and thick. Clear soups include flavored stocks, broths, and consomms, and include soups such as chicken noodle soup and French onion soup. Thick soups include cream and pure soups, such as bisques or cream of tomato soup. Stock or broth is the basic ingredient in clear soups. Consomm is actually a rich, flavorful broth or stock that has been clarified. It should be clear, aromatic, and emphasize the flavor of the major ingredient. Cream soups are made with a thickener, such as roux. The main flavor in cream soups should be the major ingredient. For example, in a bisque, the main flavor should be shellfish. The main difference between a pure and cream soup is that cream soups are usually thickened with an added starch. Pure soups are thickened by the starch found in the pured main ingredient (such as potatoes). There are many unusual kinds of soup, including cold soups, such as gazpacho; fruit soups, such as winter melon; and vegetable-based soups, such as minestrone, gumbo, or borscht.

5 Mother Sauce Bchamel, the classic white sauce, was named after its inventor, Louis XIV's steward Louis de Bchamel. The king of all sauces, it is often referred to as a cream sauce because of its appearance and is probably used most frequently in all types of dishes. Made by stirring milk into a butter-flour roux, the thickness of the sauce depends on the proportion of flour and butter to milk. The proportions for a thin sauce would be 1 tablespoon each of butter and flour per 1 cup of milk; a medium sauce would use 2 tablespoons each of butter and flour; a thick sauce, 3 tablespoons each. Velout is a stock-based white sauce. It can be made from chicken, veal or fish stock. Enrichments such as egg yolks or cream are sometimes also added. Espagnole, or brown sauce, is traditionally made of a rich meat stock, a mirepoix of browned vegetables (most often a mixture of diced onion, carrots and celery), a nicely browned roux, herbs and sometimes tomato paste. Hollandaise and Mayonnaise are two sauces that are made with an emulsion of egg yolks and fat. Hollandaise is made with butter, egg yolks and lemon juice, usually in a double boiler to prevent overheating, and served warm. It is generally used to embellish vegetables, fish and egg dishes, such as the classic Eggs Benedict. Mayonnaise is a thick, creamy dressing that's an emulsion of vegetable oil, egg yolks, lemon juice or vinegar and seasonings. It is widely used as a spread, a dressing and as a sauce. It's also used as the base for such mixtures as Tartar Sauce, Thousand Island Dressing, Aoli, and Remoulade. Vinagrette is a sauce made of a simple blend of oil, vinegar, salt and pepper (usually 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar). More elaborate variations can include any combination of spices, herbs, shallots, onions, mustard, etc. It is generally used to dress salad greens and other cold vegetable, meat or fish dishes.

1. Bechamel Sauce This is a classic white sauce. Its the stuff we commonly refer to as cream sauce. You can use it to make a bunch of different sauces, including killer cheese sauce. To make it, cook butter and flour together, then whisk in some milk. Its thickness depends on how much milk you add. The more milk, the thinner the sauce. Heres a great basic recipe for Bechamel from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook. 2. Veloute Sauce Veloute is a white sauce thats made just like a Bechamel, except its with chicken, veal, or fish stock instead of milk. Use veloute as the basis for a piquant white wine sauce, add in tarragon, shallots, and chervil for Venetian Sauce, or make Sauce Albufera by adding in a little meat glaze (reduced brown sauce). 3. Espagnole Sauce This is a brown sauce. Its a combination of a dark brown roux (butter and flour cooked together until nutty brown), tomato paste, browned veggies, herbs, and rich meat stock. Espagnole sauce the basis for Bordelaise sauce (with red wine, shallot, bay leaf, and thyme), sauce Robert (with white wine and onion sauteed in butter), and Chasseur sauce, aka hunters sauce (with mushroom, shallot, white wine, and tomato). 4. Hollandaise Sauce Hollandaise is a rich, buttery yellow sauce thats probably best known for its starring role atop eggs benedict. To make hollandaise, egg yolks and lemon juice are whisked together with small amounts of oil so that the fat emulsifies, then the whole thing is enriched with butter. 5. Tomato Sauce Tomato is, well, tomato sauce. Use it on pizza, pasta, meat, or chicken. Dress it up or down with ground sausage, mushrooms, olives, or any manner of veggies.